What does it mean to be grateful? I often wonder this when I do my gratitude practice every morning, and even sometimes at night. Why does it matter to actively appreciate the things I already know I appreciate? What good does it do to focus so much on the good things in my life and how does this help me move forward?
Gratitude has always had a special place in my heart mostly for the way I feel after I have practiced gratitude for a few days. I feel lighter, more full, and perhaps, less burdened by the struggles that present themselves to me. Actually, I see them less. The struggles I see so often become less present when my attention becomes surrounded by positivity and love. Essentially, that is what gratitude is; Love. The idea of intentionally placing love in the things you appreciate and care for. People, accomplishments, your morning coffee, and even the ability to breath are things we too often take for granted. These things that bring us joy, life, passion, and more are the things that give us the drive to live and like air, the ability to live. Life is made up of so many little things that when stacked together can create mosaics that paint a picture of who we are and how we see ourselves. The fascinating thing, and also the most empowering thing, is these mosaics of our lives are not frozen in time like the Mona Lisa. These large pieces of artwork that showcase our lives are constantly changing, and we have a say in the change more often than we realize.
The mosaics of our lives can become dark, menacing, and cold. This is most certainly times we forget about our loved ones, the things we are good at and love to do, our morning coffee, and the air we breathe. Our attention is focused on struggle and we assume this is to “be critical in order to improve ourselves” but intention is like a revolving door and the thoughts will always bring you right back to where you began. Did you begin with love and possibility, or fear and insecurity?
And who could blame us? This world we live in has conditioned us to fall into the traps of suffering and also conditioned us to think this is something to just ‘accept’. So how do we break out of this cycle? Indeed, there are many ways to become more aware and more mindful of unhealthy, toxic habits. Gratitude is a powerful, yet subtle way to break out of the revolving door that leads us back to despair and guides us to the revolving door of love and inspiration. A door of capability. Once here we can begin to edit, re-shape, and make our mosaics ones of bright, vibrant colors.
So here I ask you; What are you grateful for?
You are enough.